The Beverly Hills City Council passed a resolution last night that formally condemns parts of oppressive new laws in Brunei and asking the wealthy kingdom to divest itself of the hotel. Last week Brunei adopted a set of laws that make "abortion, adultery and gay relationships punishable by flogging and stoning," as NPR describes it. The Sultan of Brunei owns the Dorchester Collection, a luxury hotel chain that owns the Hotel Bel-Air, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and scads of other luxury hotels around the world. The new laws have sparked a grassroots campaign against properties owned by the oil-wealthy country that has now become a full-blown boycott: the Global Women's Rights Awards moved their annual awards from the BHH; The Hollywood Reporter and the Motion Picture & Television Fund have bailed on the Bev Hills Hotel for some of their events as well, reports the LA Times.
There's no telling how persuasive the BH City Council's polite but firm request will be in the case of a sultanate that can freely impose death by stoning upon people (well, not people, just women and homosexuals). And even the boycotts probably won't influence the sultanate—in an interview with the Times, the CEO of the Dorchester Group says that Brunei isn't planning on selling the hotels, and warned that the boycotts won't change anything in the far-off country. "They won't stop the implementation of the new laws ... [They will] only hurt the [hotel's] employees."
· Beverly Hills council urges Brunei to divest itself of Beverly Hills Hotel [LAT]